UN slaps agencies that are complicit with fossil fuel companies

The UN appears to be running out of patience with fossil fuel companies and their accomplices. At the UN General Assembly held last week in New York, António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, insisted that “companies that pollute must pay.” “We must hold fossil fuel companies and those who support them accountable,” Guterres said. Secretary Guterres specifically referenced the millions of dollars that go into the coffers of public relations agencies each year with the ultimate goal of shielding fossil fuel companies from public scrutiny.

239 advertising and public relations agencies are contractually linked to fossil fuel companies

The UN Secretary General’s words come category email list just days after a report by Clean Creatives and Comms Declare revealed details about the advertising and public relations agencies that provide their services to the Saudi oil giant Saudi Aramco , which is among the most polluting companies in the world. According to the Clean Creatives and Comms Declare report, Saudi Aramco has at least 17 advertising and public relations agencies on its payroll since 2018 and a good part of them are related to Interpublic Group (IPG). Clean Creatives assures that one of the agencies serving Saudi Aramco , Well7, belongs to the IPG group and borrows its name from the well from which oil was first extracted in Saudi Arabia in 1938.

The commitment to sustainability of some agencies contrasts sharply with their client portfolio

In their research Clean Creatives AO Lists and Comms Declare highlight how IPG’s environmental policies are, for example, completely at odds with the business of companies like Saudi Aramco. “Despite IPG’s climate ambitions, this group continues to work with ExxonMobil, Aramco, Valero, Repsol and Equinor, which have expressly stated their interest in increasing the production of fossil fuels,” states the study by Clean Creatives and Comms Declare. . The report also makes similar criticisms of Publicis and WPP , whose attitude contrasts with that of Omnicom, which has not been particularly significant in the field of sustainability and has stated on occasion that the advertising industry has less environmental impact than other areas of activity. .

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